I ran my very first marathon last spring in Burlington, Vermont. Not long after I was having serious knee problems and was in a wheel chair for two months. I was laid off from my job because I was unable to stand. Having knee problems in the past, my assumption was that it was just from the race. In and out of the doctors offices and emergency rooms I was struggling with determining a cause. I first saw a knee doctor who gave me an MRI and cortisone shots, which showed nothing and did little. The pain began to spread throughout my body. Crippling me to my bed and causing a serious mental strain that halted my studies. After plenty of tests, tons of doctors, and running on very little information the doctors started to question MS and other very scary situations. Finally, after seeing an infectious disease specialist, it turned out to be Lyme Disease. It took them almost five months to diagnose me. At that point the Lyme was able to get deep into my system post marathon because of the strain I had put on my body. Now living in New England it is a fear of many and many unfortunately have gone down similar paths.
I started treatment with a Naturopathic doctor, not covered by insurance, and stayed on the antibiotic for seven months. At the age of 21, I was carrying around a pill box taking 30 pills in the morning and 28 at night. My college helped where they could, helping speak with me and my professors and taking the time to connect me with the right doctors. Overall, I was trying my best to attend class, I was unable to work, and I was doing what I could of what needed to be done. Finally after 10 months of suffering extreme pain in all of my joints, a heavy fog making concentrating and doing school work nearly impossible, and bringing me very low, I was finally feeling no symptoms. They decreased slowly, but I worked with my doctors to focus on the toughest: the physical pain, the exhaustion, the insomnia, and the mental fog.
The Lyme disease has since damaged my immune system creating more problems for me now. I just recently spent the weekend in the emergency room for a head cold turned Pneumonia and lung infection. I also occasionally find myself in the emergency room because my treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from a sexual assault at my first University, Appalachian State University, goes unsuccessful. My panic attacks lead to seizures and I have to go the the ER to make sure that they can help me calm down again.
I do what I can at home and try to avoid going when I can. I have a good amount of support around me and at school, but my family is in Philadelphia and sometimes being without mom and dad is tougher than I would think when I left. I currently am taking out student loans, work full time, am a full time student, and can barely make rent month to month. Any extra money I have I put towards my medical bills, which are currently sitting around $6,000. My credit is sinking slowly and I am scared that when I get out of school I will have way more debt above my head than I ever imagined. Trying to regain my credit, so that I can get a car or house when I graduate in 2016 would be nice.
If you could help, honestly, even 50 cents would mean the world to me. I have never thought that I would come here, but I am scared and I have no where to turn. My highest amount of gratitude is sent in your direction and may blessings be placed upon you for your support and donation.
DonationsSee top donations
- Gordon Longsworth
- Tom Hilker
- Kevin Cornagie
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more